• World renowned violinist Carolin Widmann joins the Elbphilharmonie Orchestra for Beethoven’s lyrical violin concerto in D
• Works by Beethoven, Pierre Boulez and György Ligeti are brought to life by acclaimed French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard
• Take in regional highlights including the magnificent cathedrals of Cologne and Aachen, the recorded final resting place of Charlemagne
The history of the Bonn Beethovenfest stretches back to 1845 when the Rhineland town celebrated the 75th birthday of its most famous son with three days of unbroken festivities. This sparkling musical gala reached its climax with the unveiling of a Beethoven memorial in Bonn’s Münsterplatz in the presence of Queen Victoria and the monument’s chief sponsor, Franz Liszt.
Our visit to the 2019 festival pays stirring tribute to the great composer with a concert featuring the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra of Hamburg under New York-born conductor Alan Gilbert, who together will perform Beethoven’s timelessly popular Symphony No 7 – a favourite of the composer and audiences since its premiere – alongside his Violin Concerto in D major. German violinist Carolin Widmann, recipient of multiple awards and frequent collaborator with premier conductors, will be our soloist for this performance, which is sure to be a major highlight of our tour. Pierre-Laurent Aimard, meanwhile, will captivate with a programme dedicated to the piano works of Boulez, Ligeti and Beethoven himself – providing an effective contrast to the grander philharmonic works. We hope to include further performances once the full festival programme has been released.
In addition to the festival programme, Tour Director John Bryden will enrich our experience with a number of special recitals at locations including the Schumann-Haus and Beethoven-Haus with its square piano. We will explore other places associated with Beethoven, including the Old Cemetery, where his mother is buried, and will enjoy day excursions to Aachen and Cologne for their stunning cathedrals and museums. We also hope to include a cruise on the Rhine from Bonn to Remagen, followed by an organ recital at the 12th century Romanesque Maria Laach abbey church.
We will stay throughout at the four-star Hilton Bonn Hotel, overlooking the Rhine and a short stroll from the Beethoven-Haus.
Please note the full itinerary including all performances will be confirmed once the festival programme has been released early in 2019.
This tour will be led by John Bryden, MA, ARCM, ARCO, a member of the Dartington Piano Duo who has played across Britain and Europe as a soloist, accompanist and chamber musician, and has given concerts from California to Kathmandu via Wigmore Hall. For many years John coached at the Dartington International Summer School. The Beethoven Festival has always been one of John’s most well-loved tours, and he is delighted to be returning with a group in 2019.
MA, ARCM, ARCO
international concert pianist and organist and classical music lecturer
21 Sep — 27 Sep 2019
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Cost of £2595 includes: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, performances (full programme to be confirmed), breakfast, five lunches, three dinners with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities.
Not included: travel insurance, double room for single use supplement £340.